Directors Reflections…Welcome to New and Continuing Students and Faculty!

Barbara EpsteinThough the calendar year begins in January and the fiscal year in July, the start of classes and students’ return to campus in August always seems like the “real” new year to me.  Though we relaxed a bit over the summer, now we’re busy with orientations and new projects.

This issue has information on upcoming workshops about online tools to enhance your current awareness, productivity and personal organization.  And mark your calendar to attend our conference on mobile computing on Friday, October 29.

Check your wallet for old library copy cards, and be sure to use all of the credits before September; after that, we will switch to a new system and any remaining value will be lost.

This issue also reports on “cool tools” from MedlinePlus, new e-resources in bioinformatics, and a Web site called JANE, that helps you identify relevant journals for your manuscripts and others working on research topics similar to yours.

Remember that each school has a designated liaison librarian—have you met yours?  If not, we’ve listed their names and contact information in this issue.  Stop by and introduce yourself!

Make a note to yourself to attend one of our classes this year, or learn about an HSLS service or resource.  We’re looking forward to “seeing” you online or in-person.

“Get It To Go”—New Workshop Series at Falk Library

“Get It To Go” workshops are quick introductions to free online tools to enhance productivity, current awareness and personal organization.  These informal hands-on classes are 30 minutes long, but you can stay up to an hour to try out your new technology or get more information about library resources and services.

Please mark your calendars to attend one or all of the workshops below:

Twitter: Power in the Universe of Current Awareness, Thursday, September 23
Learn the basics of Twitter and how to find and “follow” health care leaders for the very latest ideas, breaking news, tips, and links related to your medical interests. Mobile apps for Twitter and tailoring your account to eliminate irrelevant tweets will also be covered.

Journal s and More at a Glance:  iGoogle or MyYahoo Pages, Wednesday, November 3
Have a Google or Yahoo email account? That’s all you need to set up a personalized page of journal table of contents, news, medical blogs, and more.  Your personalized page automatically updates, and journals link to HSLS full-text subscriptions when in network.  Your chosen information sources are visually organized on one page to make keeping up with your specialty (and the world!) a much more efficient experience.

MindMapping:  Visual Brainstorming and Organization, Tuesday, December 7
Use free online MindMapping tools to visualize, collaborate, share, and easily update your projects and ideas.  Start with a main concept and add parent/child/sibling nodes as needed in virtually any configuration.  Pdfs, jpgs, docs, and other file types can be attached to your MindMap nodes for added value. This session includes a hands-on demo of features common to these online products, using instructor’s choice product of the day.  Leading products are reviewed and compared, making it easy to choose one that best suits your needs.

All workshops will be held from noon–1:00 p.m. in Falk Library, Classroom 1.

~ Andrea Ketchum

Mobile Technology Conference Coming in October

Smartphones and mobile phones that offer advanced capabilities are becoming increasingly popular in the education and health care environment.  In fact, Gartner Research predicts that by 2013, mobile phones are expected to overtake personal computers as the most common Web access device worldwide.  Plan to join HSLS and special guest lecturers at the Mobile Technology Conference on Friday, October 29, 2010, for a day of mobile technology demonstrations and how-tos.

~ Fran Yarger

School Liaison Librarians Are Here to Help

Liaison LibrariansDo you have a question about how to search a specific database?  Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin researching a topic of interest?  Ask for help from your school’s liaison librarian listed below.  Liaisons have in-depth expertise in retrieving, evaluating, and managing information.

Liaison librarians are available to:

  • Make presentations to departments or courses regarding library programs, resources, and services
  • Incorporate library and information management skills into the curriculum
  • Provide instruction on the use of online information resources
  • Collaborate on research projects or grants
  • Perform professional-level literature searches
  • Review and validate your search strategies
  • Offer individualized consultation on in-depth or specialized topics

HSLS Liaison Librarians

Dental Medicine
Rebecca Abromitis, MLS  Sm-white-sq412-383-8984

Graduate School of Public Health
Barbara Folb, MM, MLS, MPH Sm-white-sq412-648-1974

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Linda Hartman, MLS        412-648-1479

Mary Lou Klem, PhD, MLIS Sm-white-sq412-383-9947

Ahlam Saleh, MD, MLS    Sm-white-sq412-648-2166

School of Medicine
Contact the Main Desk    Sm-white-sq412-648-8796

~ Jill Foust

Falk Library Says Goodbye to Outdated Copy Card System

During the summer months, Falk Library will update its copiers and printers with new cash systems.  Among other improvements, users will have the option to get a receipt when paying with cash.  Additionally, University departments and patrons with Pitt IDs will be able to make copies and print using their photo ID as a Panther Card.

Current copy card holders are encouraged to deplete the remaining balance on your copy cards before September 2010.  After this time, copy cards will no longer be accepted and any remaining balance on copy cards will not be refunded.

If you have any questions about the transition, please contact the Falk Library Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or Ask A Librarian.

~ Renae Barger

Desktop Delivery at Your Service

Looking to have a specific article delivered to your desktop?  HSLS Document Delivery Service uses a convenient online system available 24/7 to place requests, as well as track them from start to finish.  Copies of articles and book chapters are sent to your account for immediate download from your desktop, typically within 1-3 days.

Getting started is a breeze:

  1. Create a HSLS Document Delivery Account.  This will give you secure access to information about your requests.
  2. Log in when you want to order, track the status of requests, or download electronically delivered documents.
  3. You can order articles directly through many HSLS databases such as Ovid, PubMed, and CINAHL. Just click on the 7 -links icon. If the article is not available full text, you will have the option to request a copy from HSLS Document Delivery.

You can also use HSLS Document Delivery Services to request books or theses.  These will be available for pick up at the Falk or Shadyside Libraries, or UPS delivery is available for an additional fee. See HSLS Document Delivery FAQs for more information on our services, charges and turnaround times.

~ Renae Barger

Annals of Internal Medicine: Two Popular Features Now Available

HSLS has upgraded our subscription to the journal Annals of Internal Medicine to include access to “Epubs ahead of print,” an option requested by many users. The notation “Epub ahead of print” appears when publishers submit citations for articles to PubMed that appear on the Web prior to their publication in final or print format.

You’ll also have access to the popular In the Clinic feature. In the Clinic provides evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about the management of patients with common clinical conditions.

Parts of this article were reprinted from the Annals of Internal Medicine Web site and PubMed.

~ Leslie Czechowski

New Bioinformatics Resources from CLC bio

The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service recently licensed two new bioinformatics resources from CLC bio. CLC Main Workbench supports researcher’s daily bioinformatics needs and CLC Genomics Workbench handles sequencing data from high-throughput sequencing systems.

CLC Main Workbench is an integrated software package that enables users to perform advanced DNA, RNA, and protein sequence analyses, combined with gene expression analysis, seamless data management, and user-friendly graphical viewing and output options.  Noteworthy features include but are not limited to:

  • Expression analysis including digital gene expression: support for both microarray and sequencing-based expression data, clustering algorithms, tools for Gene Set Enrichment Analysis
  • DNA sequence analysis: primer design, in silico PCR, cloning, SNP annotation, restriction enzyme analysis and management
  • RNA structure analysis: secondary structure prediction, symbolic representations
    Protein sequence analysis: antigenicity, PFAM domain search, transmembrane helix prediction, proteolytic cleavage detection
  • Pattern search: motif searches for basic patterns, using regular expressions, and/or with ProSite patterns8 -features
  • Database searches: GenBank Entrez, BLAST on local databases, PubMed
    Project and data management: detailed history log, full integration of data input, data management, calculation results, and data export
  • Other bioinformatics features: multiple alignment of DNA, RNA, and proteins, sequence editor, local complexity region analyses

CLC Genomics Workbench is a cross-platform desktop application that incorporates cutting-edge technology and algorithms for analyzing and visualizing next generation sequencing data.  Some of its key applications are:

  • 8 -GxGenomics: whole genome re-sequencing and targeted re-sequencing of genomes of any size and type, de novo assembly of an unlimited number of reads, SNP and DIP detection, identification of genomic rearrangements
  • Transcriptomics: digital gene expression based on RNA-Seq, including a wide range of downstream gene expression analyses, novel transcript/exon discovery, interactive view of assemblies and derived gene expression data
  • Epigenomics: ChIP-seq analysis, peak finding and refinement, false discovery rate and background distribution tables and graphs

To access CLC Main Workbench or CLC Genomics Workbench, visit Licensed Tools on the HSLS Molecular Biology portal.

For more information about CLC bio resources, call Ansuman Chattopadhyay at 412-648-1297, Carrie Iwema at 412-383-6887, or contact Ask A MolBio Librarian.

Parts of this article were reprinted from CLC bio.

~ Carrie Iwema

Videos & Cool Tools from MedlinePlus

MedLine PlusMultimedia resources for medical and patient education are becoming more widely available. MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine, is a trusted source of freely accessible consumer health and drug information. It’s also a leader in providing high-quality illustrations and videos for patient education.  If you prefer to get health information from videos, tutorials, calculators, quizzes and games, the new Videos & Cool Tools is for you.

Videos & Cool Tools features three video collections: “Interactive Tutorials,” “Anatomy Videos,” and “Surgery Videos.” All videos and narrated tutorials are organized by topic and are also embedded in associated articles throughout MedlinePlus.

Interactive Tutorials
These easy-to-use, hands-on tutorials are arranged by diseases, tests and diagnostic procedures, surgery and treatment procedures, and prevention and wellness topics. Among the many tutorials you can choose from are “Heart Attack,” “Arthroscopic Surgery for Shoulders,” and “Back Exercises.”  Each interactive tutorial includes animated graphics, audio, and easy-to-read language.

Health Calculators and Quizzes
If you want to know how healthy you are, or where you might need to make improvements, try one of the health calculators or quizzes. Examples include the “Alcohol Calorie Calculator,” “Calculate Your Body Mass Index,” and “Risk Assessment Tool for Estimating Your 10-Year Risk of Having a Heart Attack.”

Anatomy Videos
The anatomy videos demonstrate how diseases and conditions can affect various parts of the body. You can watch videos on a wide array of topics from “Blinking” to “Ovulation” to “Snoring.”

Surgery Videos
The surgery videos are a licensed collection of over 120 videos of surgical procedures filmed at hospitals across the United States. It’s organized primarily by body system, and cross-indexed to more specific areas of interest, such as “Cancer” and “Child and Teen Health.”

Videos & Cool Tools also offers easy-to-use tutorials on understanding medical words and evaluating health information.  For anyone seeking reliable health information, Videos & Cool Tools can help.

~ Andrea Ketchum

E-books from Stat!Ref Are Very Popular

In the last year, HSLS users consulted over 30,000 documents from e-books available through the vendor Stat!Ref. For example, Sparks and Taylor’s Nursing Diagnosis Reference Manual had over 7,000 downloads during the year. These statistics give evidence that HSLS users want and use our e-book collections.

However, we face one troubling issue–our users also experience turnaways from time to time. That is, when trying to click through to a Stat!Ref e-book, they receive a notice that the e-book is in use and unavailable. This occurs because most of our e-books allow a limited number of concurrent users (number of people who can be viewing the same e-book at the same time).  For example, Stat!Ref allows  10 concurrent users, which is not always adequate. If you do get turned away from a Stat!Ref e-book or any other e-book, please try again in a few minutes, as the situation generally doesn’t last long. However, if it happens for too long or repeatedly, e-mail Ask A Librarian. It may be possible to increase the number of users for specific titles if they are extremely popular. For example, we will increase the concurrent users allowed for Sparks and Taylor this fall because the book will be used in a course assignment.

Stat!Ref also contains a number of other vital texts, such as ACS Surgery: Principles & Practice, AHFS Drug Information, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies, and the ICD-9-CM. All of our e-books can be accessed in numerous ways:

~ Leslie Czechowski

Have You Met JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator)?

Not sure where to submit your manuscript? Try consulting JANE: Journal/Author Name Estimator, a freely available Web-based tool, to identify suitable journals. In addition to locating journals, JANE can also locate relevant articles to cite in your paper and even help find manuscript reviewers.

To search in JANE, enter the title, author, and/or abstract of the paper in the search box, and click on “Find journals,” “Find authors,” or “Find articles.” JANE will then compare your document to millions of documents in MEDLINE to find the best matching journals, authors or articles. JANE can also be searched by keyword.

JANE is updated monthly and includes papers with abstracts that were published in the last 10 years. The database works by searching for the 50 articles that are most similar to your input. For each of these articles, a similarity score between that article and your input is calculated. The similarity scores of all the articles belonging to a certain journal or author are summed to calculate the confidence score for that journal or author. The results are ranked by confidence score.

JANE also calculates an Article Influence (AI) score. The AI measures how often articles in the journal are cited within the first five years after its publication. These citations are weighted based on the influence of the journals from which citations are received: being cited in an article in Science can boost a journal’s AI more than being cited in an article in an obscure journal.

No need to worry about submitting your abstract to JANE. The information sent to the JANE server is not stored. It is kept in memory for as long as needed to calculate the scores and formulate the response page, and then it is discarded from memory.

JANE is produced by the The Biosemantics Group.

Parts of this article were reprinted from the JANE: Journal/Author Name Estimator Web site.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Librarians and School of Information Sciences Faculty Team Up for HealthCAS

IMG_0865 copy2HSLS and the University’s School of Information Sciences (iSchool) recently enrolled our first cohort of students in a newly created Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Sciences Librarianship (HealthCAS) program. This online post-Master’s degree program, funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, allows librarians to expand and enhance their knowledge of the theory and practice of health sciences librarianship. The HealthCAS program is a unique collaboration between faculty in the Department of Library and Information Sciences at the iSchool and practicing faculty librarians at HSLS.

Over the course of the year-long program, HSLS faculty librarians will teach classes on topics such as understanding the current health care environment, management of health sciences resource collections, and provision of information services and instruction to health care providers.  In addition to taking these courses, students will complete a 3-credit research project relevant to the topic of health sciences librarianship. Librarians in this first cohort will graduate from the HealthCAS program with a firm understanding of current trends in health sciences research and education, an enhanced awareness of the information needs of clinical care providers, and the skills needed to manage and provide access to the expanding knowledge base in health care and the health sciences.

For more information about HealthCAS, contact Ester Saghafi, reference librarian and project manager, at 412-648-1973 or

~ Mary Lou Klem

HSLS Librarians Contribute to Magnet Recognition for UPMC Shadyside

Magnet hospitalsIn March 2010, UPMC Shadyside was designated as a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).  Magnet hospitals are recognized for strong leadership, exemplary professional practice, innovation, and quality patient care.  Only 6% of hospitals in the United States have earned Magnet status.

HSLS librarians were active participants in UPMC Shadyside’s journey to Magnet recognition. Embedded within the hospital are two libraries managed by HSLS: the James Frazer Hillman Health Sciences Library and the Hopwood Library, a health resource center for patients and families.

Throughout the Magnet recognition process, librarians assisted nurses and administrators with literature searches, provided resources to support clinical research, and served on relevant committees.  During the Magnet appraisers’ site visit, librarians participated in Q&A sessions, describing available services and resources, and communicating the importance of libraries and librarians in providing quality health care to patients. The Shadyside team concurred, as Rachel Nechyba, RN, Chair of the Evidence-Based Practice Council commented, “The EBP Council’s success is due in large part to the dedication and in-depth investment exhibited by our library system.

HSLS librarians at UPMC Shadyside are Michelle Burda, consumer health librarian; Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian; and Charles Wessel, head of Hospital Services.

~ Michelle Burda and Melissa Ratajeski

Going Against Goliath: OBRC vs. Google

The Online Bioinformatics Resources Collection (OBRC) is a freely searchable collection of over 2,600 bioinformatics databases and software tools on the Web. The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service created the tool and maintains it regularly.

A criticism of OBRC is, “Why bother [searching OBRC]? You can just use Google!” To answer this question, a research project was developed comparing Google to OBRC for locating bioinformatics tools. The project intended to answer three questions:

  1. Is OBRC superior to Google at locating bioinformatics resources quickly, easily and successfully?
  2. Does OBRC leave users more satisfied than Google with the results of their search and the overall experience?
  3. Do users want to use OBRC again for their research?

Ten biology graduate students were recruited. Each was assigned three tasks to find bioinformatics resources, using both Google and OBRC. Their searches were recorded using screen capture software, and they narrated their actions and thoughts while searching. The time spent searching, number of search queries, and number of sites visited were recorded. If they gave up without locating a resource, that was recorded as well. Afterward, they completed a survey regarding their opinions about both Google and OBRC. Specifically, they were asked how appropriate the results were, how easy each tool was to use, and then rated their entire experience. They were also asked how likely they were to use the OBRC again for their own research.

On average, the users spent twice as much time searching Google as they did searching OBRC. They visited slightly more sites with Google and used slightly more search queries. Users failed to find relevant information using Google 30% of the time, while they were 100% successful using OBRC. They had overwhelmingly positive reactions to OBRC, while Google only garnered negative or neutral ratings. The majority of students plan to use OBRC again in the future, and many asked when it would be available, not realizing it already was. Their comments suggested that they felt that Google was too time consuming and frustrating, while OBRC was very direct.

OBRC’s success shows that libraries can and should produce niche search tools, and they must aggressively market them to users.

~ Katrina Kurtz